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Early growth habit and vigour parameters in olive seedlings

AutorHammami, Sofiene B. M.; León, Lorenzo; Rapoport, Hava F. ; Rosa, Raúl de la
Fecha de publicación27-jul-2011
CitaciónScientia Horticulturae 129(4): 761-768 (2011)
ResumenFruit tree growth habit and vigour are important traits for orchard management and production, yet are difficult to select for in breeding programs because the parameters for their evaluation are complex, and their expression often requires sufficient plant size and development, entailing valuable time. Thus, in olive (Olea europaea L.) breeding, as for other fruit crops, it is critical to define growth habit and vigour parameters with selection potential, and to determine the earliest age at which they can be measured. Furthermore seedling growth habit traits are important in themselves, particularly in their relation to juvenile period length and management. To explore these issues we evaluated a series of new and standard growth habit parameters during the first year of growth in a population of unpruned olive seedlings originating from six different crosses. The influence of plant age on growth habit traits was determined by comparing measurements at two or three different times. Both parent genotype and plant age significantly affected the vigour and growth habit of the olive seedlings, and 9 months was the most appropriate age for evaluating seedling growth parameters. 'Picual', 'Arbosana' and 'Sikitita' were shown to be promising cultivars for use as genitors, because of their tendency to produce offspring with desirable growth habit traits such as high vigour, weeping habit and low lateral shoot number. From among the 17 parameters studied, based on parent influence and the absence of correlation among parameters, five were identified which best described olive seedling growth habit: Primary Shoot Top Diameter, Primary Shoot Conicity, Secondary Shoot Number, Secondary Shoot Insertion Angle and Longest Secondary Shoot Internode Length. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.scienta.2011.05.038
issn: 0304-4238
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